Tag Archives: fight or flight

We are wired for fear.  Our ancestors had to be keenly aware of danger at all times in order to survive.  "There is the lion; I must hide."  It required a constant state of vigilance, and this affected the development of the human brain.  In short, our brains evolved so that we were able to recognize and fixate on danger, and that danger created fear within us.  The fear kept us on our toes and alert to more danger, and that whole cycle kept us alive in very rough circumstances. The problem is, we don't face many lions anymore.  But our brains are still wired as though we do, and they look for danger in any form.  If we are getting messages that warn us of possible danger in our world, we take them in and react by going on high alert -- our fight, flight, or freeze response is automatically kicked into gear. Since the real (i.e, lions) dangers are no longer present (for the most part) in our lives, the brain turns its attention to other things in our environment that could possibly be linked to some sort of danger, even if that danger is not actually dangerous (as in a threat to our survival).  This means that our brains notice and fixate on such things as frowns on people's faces, critical comments from others, or our spouse's bad mood.  Twenty positive things may happen to us in a day, but we will focus on and worry about the one person who ignored us at the party. The right side of our brain is responsible for this phenomenon, known as the negativity bias.  It all derives from that ancient survival mechanism of trying to avoid the lions.  But can we change it?  Well, no, and yes. It is our hard wiring, and that is a fact.  We can't change that, per se, but we can work with the right brain to help it tune into the positive things we encounter.  To do this, we have to start paying attention to the positive things that happen to us.  For instance, when we get positive feedback for something we have done, we must first intentionally notice it, focus on it, and keep our attention focused on it for a few seconds.  We need to let it sink in, let it feel good, let ourselves smile and savor that feeling.  We have to do this because it takes a few more seconds for our brains to commit positive events to memory than it takes to commit the negative ones.   The actual research says that we need to hold the positive things in mind for at least 12 seconds, and longer is even better.  If we do this when good things happen to us, we can balance out the negativity bias and create more positive, high vibration energy within and around us! So the next time someone smiles at you or hugs you, hold onto it for a little while.  Help your right brain to take in the good stuff, too. Peace, Leslie  

One Simple Thing: Befriend Your Right Brain

We are wired for fear.  Our ancestors had to be keenly aware of danger at all times in order to survive.  “There is the lion; I must hide.”  It required ..read more

Posted in Alternative healing, amygdala, Anxiety, Chi, Compassion, Coping With Fear, emotional health, energy healing, General Mental Health, Healthy Brain, Healthy Body, Life balance, Love, Meditation, Mindfulness, Mood, Physical Health, relationships, Relaxation, Spirituality, Stress, Stress relief, suffering, The Fight, Flight, or Freeze Response, therapy, Tools for Improving Mood, Tools for Managing Anxiety, Tools for Managing Depression, worry | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on One Simple Thing: Befriend Your Right Brain